Coco Gauff’s the 2023 Citi DC Open champion. The American beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 24 minutes in the final on Sunday. Going into the encounter, it was Sakkari who had the edge over her rival. She’d won four of the five past matches they’d played.
Gauff’s only win over Sakkari had come in 2021, at the Italian Open in Rome. But on Sunday, Gauff convincingly turned tables on her. Gauff finished the match with seven aces to Sakkari’s lone number. She won 72% of her first-serve points and 55% points on return on the latter’s first serve.
Gauff did struggle to win points off her second serve. Of the 28 points played on her second serve, she managed to win merely 12. However, she did win 16 of the 24 points played on Sakkari’s second serve. The 19-year-old saved only one of the four break points she faced but converted six of 10 break points that came her way on the world no.
Citi DC Open: Coco Gauff surmounts Maria Sakkari for glory
After the match, Sakkari congratulated Gauff during her runner-up’s speech during the presentation ceremony. She said, “You deserve everything you’ve achieved.
You’re an amazing person. You have a great family and great team behind you… you’re a great role model for everyone. You’re super nice to everyone. So, congrats to you. I wish you all the best”. The 27-year-old, who’d had a mediocre 2023 up to making it to the final this week in the United States’ capital also spoke about taking the positives from this result, despite the final not going her way.
She shared, “It was an incredible week. I'm not going to lie, it's pretty disappointing. But at the same time, a month ago I didn't think I would be here”. Meanwhile, for Coco Gauff, the takeaways from her win at the Citi DC Open were huge.
This was the fourth title of the teen’s career and also the biggest one so far. All the three previous titles she’d won, including the ASB Classic this year in New Zealand, were WTA 250s. This is the first time she’s bagged a WTA 500 trophy.
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